The Seventh Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding 2015

Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design. The judges for this year’s competition include

Jane Elder, Bridwell Library

Jolene de Verges, Hamon Arts Library

David Lawrence, Recipient of the 2012 DeGolyer Award for American Bookbinding

Olivia Primanis, Harry Ransom Center

Roberta Schaafsma, Bridwell Library

The Restoration of Leather Bindings

Bernard C. Middleton (1924 – ). The Restoration of Leather Bindings. Chicago: American Library Association, 1976.

In honor of the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Helen Warren DeGolyer Triennial Competition for American Bookbinding, the 2015 Award Commission will be Mrs. DeGolyer’s copy of Middleton’s classic manual of bookbinding, signed by the author. The work offers a comprehensive overview of traditional restoration techniques, tools, and materials. The volume is illustrated with numerous black and white photographs by the author and his bindery assistant, Eric Horne, and detailed drawings and diagrams by Aldren A. Watson.

Completed commissions of previous DeGolyer Award winners and all competition entries, including design proposals and sample bindings, are exhibited in The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries at Bridwell Library. In addition, a PDF containing an image of each proposal and sample binding is available here.


Bridwell Library